Good King Mac

Fie! Put away your cudgels and sticks rapscallion youth! Scientists do not box ears, bucket doors and antic bunks! This will not do, it is the mirror of antipodean foolhard. You will cease to bicker and attend to your betters.

Professors may dispute, this does not call upon their charges to carry the dispute to violence. Weigh the evidence and not the reputation or singing voice of Doctors A or B. Read below and think on it.

Just beyond the Oops we have great difficulty in forming a reputable time line. Consider – here no written records were kept, we have only oral history – the epic history of the age were rendered in rhyme such that a travelling bard could memorise the tale. If they could not recall a name or a date, they would simply insert something of their own rather than disappoint the audience huddled about the fire. And so the epics are organisms that mated, mutated and cross pollinated – you cannot draw absolute truth from a song cycle.

The earliest songs of which we have fragments are simple tales of survival and wit, sung by all. We mention a few. I’ll Swap My Daughter For A Cup Of Water is direct and heartfelt. Man’s Best Friend obscurely refers to an edible something with four legs, perhaps a dining table. That life became a little more grim over the 21st century can be glimpsed in the popular titles that follow on: Mus’ Be Mud ‘Cos Jam Don’t Taste Like Dat, Spoonful of Roaches, Lil’ Old Cave Of Mine and the evergreen Please Kill Me.

But some pockets of the world entered into a time of chivalry, of kings and battles that resound through the ages. Here we find the professional troubadours, the songsters – rhyming for their tinned meat. This is where we learn of the legendary Mac. You will recall from your schooling the Ballad of Mac. We reproduce an excerpt:

Crept ’round the depths of the castle
the surly terrorists
tested the windows of the tower and found them lame
and in they came!
Alas! Alack! Their attack swept up the fire stairs
(as fire indeed they were that day!)
bursting through the wall of desks
lept o’er the office chairs
they bested the best of the Heroes.
Lolcat fell that day, and aside him poor Prince Fresh
Opensource and handsome Cartridge too
No match for this evil crew
Yet when all seemed lost the king of kings
fleet of foot and mighty of brow
our Good Lord Mac held fast the foe
swinging His mighty Laptop ‘gainst the fray
The Devil would not wrest His water on this day!

As commonly conceived King Mac is a character of fiction – the mighty Laptop, his Suit and Tie, the Boardroom Table – all of these elements in the Ballad stem from the Great Tales of Mac written in around 2620 by Fred of The First Raft. In this respect, Doctor A is correct. Before you crow, followers of A, there is evidence that someone like Mac was a real person and the battles we know are exaggerations of real events. Doctor B is correct that there was a king, just that he has been inflated in the telling. You students, shake hands and sing the anthem of UNP. There.

In 2890, an expedition to ancient Edmonton in the Shallow North discovered a castle, tall, with multiple windows just as described in the legend. They saw only the top but by dropping stones down the central shaft confirmed that it was very deep. Near the top in a central chamber they found a dusty table of great size, round at the edges, as if many men sat about it. And yes, a water container, although not of the size needed for such a mighty building. The chairs of this chamber had wheels just as described by the Bard. Surely stories of Mac circulated on the First Raft and were collected in writing by Fred – with some extra spice thrown in to win popular acclaim.

The historical Mac was just one of many petty kings that ruled the edges of the old civilisation, migrating their people north and south as the temperature gained. Illiterate and guided by cunning they would squabble over the aging cities and sources of water up to the earliest stages of the Age of Science. The last inbred kings, Alert IV and Resolute III of Nunavut, claimed a mixture of real and mythological ancestors and their lineage itself is of feeble use. Nevertheless desire for lineage restored the act of writing. The rest of this tale can be found in any modern history textbook.